In general terms, much of the Kenyan coastline has been overrun with hordes of mass market British and Italian tourists. For this reason, we rarely sell Mombasa or Malindi, and we tend to prefer the beaches and islands of Tanzania and Zanzibar. However, for all the many large hotels along this coastline, there are one or two absolute gems.
The Kenyan coastline stretches for about 300 miles from Lamu in the far north of the country, down to the south of Mombasa. The stretch from Malindi down to south of Mombasa, though packed with large hotels, boasts picturesque white sand, palm-fringed beaches, fulfilling the Indian Ocean stereotype! The snorkelling and diving here are great, due to abundant coral. Absorbing the famous coastal swahili culture and its fascintating history is a real draw for spending some time on the beach after the ardour of safari!
However, it is worth noting that the beaches are very tidal, so swimming can be impossible at low tide and seaweed can be a real problem in our summer months.
Kenya Beaches: where to stay
In our opinion, the best hotels on the coast are small, boutique and often owner run. They tend to be a fair distance from the hustle and bustle of Mombassa. Diani, Tiwi and Msembweni are great options on the South Coast. In terms of properties the pick of the bunch in this area would be Alfajiri Villas, Msambweni Beach House and Kinondo Kwetu.
Crossing the blue waters of Kilifi Creek, the next village to the North is Watamu a lovely fishing village with a few larger hotels including Hemmingways and Medina Palms. It has a stunning stretch of beach and some excellent activities on offer - sunset dhow trips into Mida creek, a great destination for big game fishing and a world renowned kite-surfing destination. There are also some stunning private houses in this area which are great for larger groups.
To the North is the Lamu archipelage, a UNESCO world heritage site, boasting beatuful islands, beaches and stunning blue seas.